BY ADEYEMI AKANJI, BAUCHI – Unless urgent administrative steps are taken by the Bauchi State Government to ensure the immediate release of the N400m budgeted for the procurement of ready-to-use-therapeutic-food (RUTF), the over 8,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are at risk of relapse of the disease.
Checks at the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) revealed that the last consignment of 30 cartons of RUTF was released to the Miri PHC for distribution to a total of 300 old and new victims of SAM who are recovering treatment and management from the facility.
Deputy State Nutrition Officer, Abubakar Saleh in a telephone interview with our Correspondent said that, “we have released the last 30 cartons of RUTF to the Miri PHC. That is what we can afford for now even though it is not going to be enough for the facility but, there’s nothing we can do”.
At the State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, no official was on seat to comment on the development but when contacted on phone, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Yahuza Adamu said that the situation is pathetic but only the Commissioner can make a definite and official commitment on it.
At a recent nutrition stakeholders meeting, Executive Chairman of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed said that the release of more funds has to be made for the procurement of more RUTF in order to save the lives of the innocent children suffering from SAM across the state.
Mohammed however assured that his Agency is doing everything humanly possible to make sure that there will be no out-of-stock RUTF in the state as efforts have been intensified to see that more funds from the budgetary allocation for Nutrition issues are released.